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In-depth reviews

Volvo XC90 review - Reliability and Safety

Volvo’s reputation looks safe thanks to a comprehensive technology package and solid warranty

Traditionally, Volvo has been known for its dependability. However, it placed 13th (out of 30 manufacturers) in our 2019 Driver Power satisfaction survey. While the XC90 did not appear in the individual car rankings, its stablemate, the XC60, finished 16th out of the 100 cars ranked in the 2019 survey.

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Euro NCAP tested the XC90 in 2015. It earned a full five-star rating and a 97 per cent score for occupant protection, plus a 100 per cent score for safety tech. This is partly thanks to two pieces of tech that made their debut in the XC90: a Run Off-Road system that senses if you veer off the tarmac – preparing the car for a crash – and special energy-absorbent seats that’ll reduce the impact of a big hit.  

There’s also a clever autonomous braking system, which stops you turning in front of an oncoming car. This is part of Volvo’s enhanced City Safety package, which also helps protect against collisions with motorcycles, swerving bicycles or errant pedestrians.

Other safety features include a passenger compartment constructed from high-strength steel. Known as boron steel, it’s the strongest steel in use in the auto industry, and Volvo reckons the XC90 uses more of it (by percentage of body weight) than any other car on sale.

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On top of this, the XC90 gets all of the usual safety kit, including seven airbags that provide protection to all three rows of seats and ESP, while blind spot warning and rear cross traffic alert form part of the Intellisafe Surround system.

All of these safety features have combined to make the XC90 one of the safest cars on the road, with Volvo even claiming that no fatalities have occured in any XC90 involved in an accident in the UK.

Warranty 

All Volvos come with a three-year/60,000 mile warranty, which is about average for the class – although the BMW X5 has no mileage limitation on its three-year cover.

Servicing 

Servicing costs for the Volvo XC90 can be fixed if you purchase one of the marque’s set plans. They can last between two and six years, varying in cost dependent on annual mileage. You do not have to buy these immediately, meaning there is no pressure to buy a package at the same time as buying your car.

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